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Jensen brothers help Operation Open Arms

May 25, 2017
By MEGHAN McCOY (mmccoy@breezenewspapers.com) , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

About a decade ago the Jensen brothers met Captain John "Giddy Up" Bunch and have been supporting his organization, Operation Open Arms, ever since.

"We always supported the troops and the Armed Forces," John Jensen said, adding that he believes Bunch asked for their help in donating a room, or a boat, for his organization. "We said yes and it went from there. We do all we can to help his organization."

In April 2005, after Bunch, a fishing charter captain, met Spc. Travis Downes while getting a sandwich to go, turned into the formation of a nonprofit organization. Downes had asked Bunch where he could go fishing from land while he was home during his second deployment from Iraq. That initial question turned into Bunch taking the U.S. Army solider out on the water, free of charge, as a way to say thank you for his service to this country.

The Jensen brothers recently offered a helping hand when they found out a Captiva resident had donated his boat, motor and trailer to Operation Open Arms.

"The boat was on a lift that was frozen," Jensen said. "We had to pull it off the lift."

Bunch said the boat was stuck on a lift with a boat that had no life to go up, or down.

"Johnny Jensen and an employee went down to the dock on a very high tide and cleverly pulled the boat off the lift saving OOA hundreds of dollars per having a boat lift specialist unfreeze the lift," he said in an email.

The trailer, which was located in a boat house, was also an issue. Fortunately the trailer was able to be pulled out of the boat house.

Jensen said they fixed up the trailer by rebuilding it with a new axel.

"I'm in awe of Team Jensen Brothers and I wish parents would teach their kids who the real role models of Southwest Florida really are," Bunch said in an email.

He said that OOA offered to help with the costs, but the Jensen brothers replied with the request of T-shirts.

Jensen said over the years many military men and women have stayed at the resort. They have also benefited from boat rentals and tackle, he said.

"We've actually become friends with a lot of the guys that stay here," Jensen said. "When they are oversees they stay in touch. They bring us cool stuff that we can put in our office"

He said it means a lot to all of the Jensen brothers that they are able to help Operation Open Arms and the troops.

"They have the biggest hearts in the world," Bunch said.

 
 

 

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